Health Canada



Health Canada

April 17, 2013 11:47 ET

Harper Government Releases Second Set of Biomonitoring Data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 17, 2013) - Today, Health Canada released its Second Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada. This technical report provides the results of the biomonitoring component from the second cycle of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) – the first of which was released in August 2010. It presents a comprehensive set of data on the exposure of the Canadian population to environmental chemicals, such as bisphenol A and lead, and is the first to include data for children aged 3 to 5 years.

"The Harper Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians families, and this survey is critical to allowing scientists to better assess what actions should be taken," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Canada was the first country in the world to take action to protect newborns and infants by banning BPA in baby bottles. Our Government will continue to take strong action to protect Canadian families."

The CHMS, led by Statistics Canada in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, is an ongoing national survey that collects information relevant to the health of Canadians through home interviews and direct physical measurements. The biomonitoring component of the CHMS involves the collection and analysis of blood and urine samples to measure concentrations of certain environmental chemicals. The CHMS also provides information on chronic and infectious disease, physical fitness, nutrition, and other factors that influence health.

"This latest collection of national biomonitoring data will build on the information collected from Cycle 1 for future monitoring and research," said Dr. Robert Cushman, Health Canada's Special Medical Advisor. "It will improve our understanding of human chemical exposure and help with the development of policies to protect the health of Canadians."

"We welcome this information on the Canadian population's exposure to chemicals, and commend Health Canada on this valuable biomonitoring research," said Erica Phipps, Partnership Director of the Canadian Partnership for Children's Health and Environment (CPCHE). "The dataset on 3 to 5 year olds gives us a clearer picture of chemical exposures for the most vulnerable among us - our children - and provides an important benchmark against which to measure progress."

Biomonitoring data establish the building blocks to conduct vital research and aid in establishing priorities for future research. Data are also used by scientists to assess if there are potential health risks from the chemicals present in our everyday lives and will be used by Health Canada to measure the effectiveness of existing risk management actions protecting the health of Canadians. Future surveys will enable the department's scientists to assess whether these protections are functioning properly or whether more action is needed.

The data currently being released for Cycle 2 were collected between 2009 and 2011 and include a nationally representative sample of approximately 6,400 Canadians aged 3 to 79 years. Cycle 1 was conducted from 2007 to 2009 and included approximately 5,500 Canadians aged 6 to 79 years. Sample collection for Cycle 3 (2012-2013) is in progress and will be completed by December 2013. Planning for Cycles 4 (2014-2015) and 5 (2016-2017) is underway.

For more information on the CHMS, please visit the following websites:

Canadian Health Measures Survey

Overview of the Second Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada

Please visit the Chemicals Substances website for more information on how the Government of Canada manages chemicals.

Fact Sheet: The Canadian Health Measures Survey and Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions: Key Things to Know About Biomonitoring in Canada

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Contact Information

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